With summer around the corner, now’s the time to start planning some fun activities for yourself or your family.
One of the most rewarding things to do is to spend a little time outdoors camping!
I know what you’re thinking…
Hot weather, bugs, etc.
If you can look past the tiny annoyances, you can start to appreciate what camping has to offer, especially when you go tent camping.
1. Getting Back to Nature
Reconnecting with nature gives us a chance to smell the fresh air. We get to get away from the city or suburban life, filled with noise, work, and people. Aside from the sense of leaving behind your typical busy life, there are health benefits to simply being outdoors.
A study found that individuals suffering from depression, who took walks outdoors, specifically in the woods and other natural areas, experienced improvements to their memory–more so than those who only took walks in urban environments (1).
Of course you could go RV camping or stay in a cabin, but when you experience nature by living in a tent, it’s easier to focus on nature rather than your accommodations. After all, when you’re just relying on a tent for shelter, it becomes all about the campsite and your setup, which leaves you plenty of time to schedule fishing outings, hikes, or just lazing about beside the fire.
[How Are They Camping section from IG]
And nothing puts you closer to nature than when you’re sleeping in a tent at night.
2. Learning That You Can Live with Very Little
Our lives are naturally inundated with the quest for financial and material security, whether it’s a good job, a house, or belongings; and we tend to rely on these things as a measure of our ability to live efficiently.
When you’re camping, you quickly learn that you don’t need much to get a good night’s rest or to enjoy the company of others. You form a stronger appreciation for the simplicity life can be lived with, which is a wonderful lesson to bring with you once you pack up your campsite at the end.
3. You’ll Develop Worthwhile Outdoor Skills
Few people seem to realize how important it could be to know how to start a fire from scratch, or how to set up a tent properly.
You might be asking yourself…
When or why would I ever need to know how to put a tent together?
Well the answer is simple:
In case you need to.
We never know where life will take us, or where we’ll end up. Should you wind up in the woods or forest, or with the chance to go camping but you’ve never slept in a tent, let alone pitched one yourself, you could feel a little out of place.
Everyone starts out as a beginner and that’s okay!
But taking the time to develop these basic outdoor skills can increase our sense of self-reliance and even our self-confidence–two healthy aspects of our identity that help us function in our daily lives productively and happily.
Mastering the Tent Life
- Practice setting up your tent at home as this will save you time on-site
- Consider borrowing a tent if you’re a beginner camper so that you don’t have to buy your own
- Renting a tent is a good option if you’re trying out tent camping for the first time
- Keep your tent clean and free of food to prevent animals from coming into your tent
- If you’re in the market for a new tent, remember that most of the newer tents are likelier to be waterproof
- Tarps are great for adding extra protection from inclement weather
- Avoid using oil- or flame-based lanterns in your tent as they can be a fire hazard; instead, use flashlights, headlamps, and electronic lanterns
- Make sure your tent is big enough for the number of people who will be using it
- To make your tent comfier at night, bring extra padding to lay down, or even an air mattress
- Screened-in tents can be an excellent addition to your setup to keep bugs out, and kids in
- If you’re a hardcore hiker who also loves camping, bring a tent that’s lightweight and easy to carry on your pack
- Do your best to pitch your tent on level, soft ground
- Place your tent downwind from the campfire to avoid having it filled with smoke at night
- Consider elevation when placing your tent: uphill means you’re less likely to get flooded out in the event of a sudden downpour
- Avoid setting up camp near any trees that look like they could shed limbs or might be at risk of toppling over
4. Tent Camping is an Affordable Group and Solo Activity
Regardless of who you go camping with, it’s generally a pretty cheap activity. More so if you’re opting for roughing it in a tent.
You have to buy a tent, and tents can be expensive.
Well, that’s partly true.
You see, if you buy a tent you have to consider it an investment. If you take care of it, it’ll last you for years. If you’re thrifty, you could buy a second-hand tent that’s been used previously. If you go that route, be sure to inspect the tent to check for holes, tears, or any other issues that could cause problems once it’s set up and you’re depending on it for shelter.
Second, you could always borrow a tent from someone you know. This not only gives you a taste of what tents could offer, but it’ll save you the time and money of shopping around for the perfect one.
Third, you may also have the option to rent a tent depending on where you look. This obviously carries a cost but is still much cheaper than buying a new one.
5. You Can Use Campsites as a Base to Explore Nearby Sights
Have you ever wanted to just go exploring in nature? Have you ever tried exploring in nature, only to find that you just don’t have enough time in the day to see it all?
When picking out a campsite, you’re not just looking for a place to pitch your tent and have a fire:
You’re looking for a basecamp.
If you want to go hiking, fishing, or to do anything else in the great outdoors, it’s wise to find a campsite in a place that offers that, and stay a night or two–or more–that way you have a local place to come back to when the sun goes down.
Then when morning comes, you can tackle the next part of your outdoor adventure without wasting time on driving back and forth.
Your area might be full of campsites or you just don’t know where to start…
But we’ve got you covered:
The Quest for the Perfect Campsite
- For beginner campers, sometimes it’s best to camp closer to home in case it’s just not for you
- Choose your campsite ahead of time to avoid the panic of searching for one last minute
- Google potential campgrounds to read their reviews and look at photos of the available sites and tent-worthy camp spaces
- When researching potential campsites, check to see if they have space reserved for tents
- Decide whether you absolutely have to have access to bathrooms, electricity, and a water source–some campsites have outlets, public restrooms, and water pumps throughout, while others don’t
- Make sure there are things to do or sights to see at the campsite you choose as this will vastly enrich your camping experience
- If the location you’re interested in requires reservations or has fees, be sure to address these early on
- Be sure to account for space you’ll need for your tent, supplies/storage, and a fire/kitchen area and filter campsites based on space requirements if possible
- If you’d like a little peace and quiet, be sure to camp far enough from neighboring campers to minimize noise and other disturbances
- When you’re done, do a campsite audit: note what you loved or didn’t like about it to help you choose your next campsite, or which ones to avoid
6. It’s a Fun Way to “Sneak” in Exercise
While some of us may relish trips to the gym and long hikes, not all of us can boast that same enthusiasm. Still, we realize that being active has a lot of long-lasting benefits to both our physical and mental wellbeing.
What kind of workout can you expect on a tent camping trip?
You’ll have to set up the tent for starters.
Then there’s unloading and unpacking everything.
Next you’ll have to set up your firepit and kitchen area (if you have a designated spot, otherwise you’ll have to get creative).
And of course walking around the campsite and the nearby area, just to get a sense of your surroundings.
When you can walk to a fishing spot, a beautiful view, or a field of flowers, you’ll be less focused on the idea of it being exercise. At that point, it’ll just be amazing to have so much located conveniently nearby.
7. Camping is Back in Style
Not that camping was ever “uncool,” but there was definitely a period where fewer people were retreating to the outdoors as a way to spend their spring and summer.
That’s changed over the last few years…
[Tent Camping is Making a Comeback section from IG]
Naturally you don’t want to seem like one who just follows the crowd; however, if you’re open to the things your friends and family are into, that just makes more opportunities for you to have fun.
Think of it less as jumping on the camping bandwagon, and more like appreciating the chance to do a satisfying, community-based activity.
In fact, camping with your family or a group of people can lead to all sorts of benefits, including camaraderie, collaboration, and productivity. When you camp with others, you’re essentially part of a team.
You work together to build a fire and put it out every day, cook meals together, and plan activities. A family camping trip truly is a team-building activity, one where you’ll reap the rewards long after you’ve packed up.